Family Law Archives

How To Choose a Family Law Lawyer

Whether you get into legal troubles or not, almost everyone will need a family lawyer at some point. Estates, wills, and powers of attorney are all matters that require legal advice and expertise to ensure that they are executed correctly. The extent to which family law extends can be wide, and you may find yourself needing it throughout your life at various times.

No matter the reason you need a family lawyer, there are some things to consider when choosing a family lawyer to represent you.

List What You’ll Need
The first thing you’ll want to do before looking at lawyers is to make a list of the requirements you will need them to meet, both present and future. While you want to place focus on areas you know you’ll need, especially immediately, you will also want to think about things you will need in the future, and how helpful and resourceful they will be in those situations as well.

The more you know about your expectations going in, the easier it will be to pick a family lawyer or practice that will cater to your needs and has experience in these areas of law.

Consider Recommendations from Friends or Family
An ideal way to find the right lawyer for you and your needs is by asking people close to you that you trust who they would recommend. This way, you should be referred to prominent lawyers that will offer a high level of performance, service, and reliability. This can be the best way to get a trustworthy lawyer that will help you and stick with you.

By asking about the service they received, you can get an idea of the treatment that you’ll get from them and how important your case will be to them.

Shop Around
A good lawyer is not going to be the first one that pops up when you search in Google. Just like anything you are looking for, you will want to research about them and get information about which is best. Choosing a lawyer is no different. You’ll want to browse around and look at what different lawyers and firms have to offer (especially regarding their areas of practice). For example, if you’re looking for a law firm that specializes in criminal law in Alberta, one option is Liberty Law.

Get a Free Consultation
Any family lawyer worth their salt will give you a free consultation and prove to you what they can do for you and why they are a great fit for you. They’ll make you feel comfortable and prove their experience and expertise in the areas that you require.

While meeting with them, make sure that they show an interest in your case and its outcome, as well as show you ways that they think they can achieve success and help you in the areas you need. They should be able to show you how their skills work specifically for your needs. In the end, all of this should prove their fit and make you feel like you’re in good hands.

If you’re unsure if the law office you’re interested in does free consultations, simply call to find out. The way they deal with you on the phone can be a good indication of whether a paid consultation would be worth it.

Following these four simple steps could go a long way towards giving you the best results in the long run. By taking the time out to research and compare lawyers, you’ll make sure you get the best representative for your needs!

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Common Misconceptions about the Fiance Visa Process

#1 A U.S. Citizen Petitioner is Automatically Entitled to Obtain a K-1 Visa for his Foreign

Fiance
Most Fiance visa petitioners believe that as U.S. Citizens they have an automatic right to successfully petition for a K-1 visa. These people are very frustrated when they find out that they can only successfully obtain a Fiance visa for their fiance if they carefully follow the procedure required by the USCIS and Embassy. The truth is U.S. Citizens are ELIGIBLE to petition for K-1 visas (but only if they follow the required procedure). U.S. Citizens are not ENTITLED to obtain K-1 visas. Petitioners get angry at the USCIS and cause themselves tremendous delay by failing to follow the protocols and procedures to obtain the Fiance visa.

Applying-for-the-K-1-Fiance-Visa

It is a certainty that a K-1 visa will not be obtained unless the petitioner meets the USCIS and Embassy requirements and follows all the required procedures.

#2 The Fiance Visa Process is Fast and Easy
Many petitioners wrongly believe that the K-1 visa process is fast and easy. In fact, it is only fast and easy compared to other types of immigration visas. It is not fast and easy compared to most transactions in daily life. Obtaining a Fiance visa is nothing like buying a car or a house or a boat. It is nothing like filing taxes or getting a driver’s license. In reality the K-1 visa process is relatively cumbersome and discretionary and requires attention to detail from both the petitioner and beneficiary.

A detail-oriented petitioner can certainly read all the instructions to the USCIS forms and file the petition by themselves. The major hazard to that is that any mistakes will result in lengthy delay or denial. The best source of information regarding the Fiance visa petition procedure is the USCIS website and the form instructions. It is risky and hazardous to rely on non-attorney websites and services for information. I tell everyone who wants to do the petition themselves to only rely on the USCIS form instructions for guidance.

#3 It is Virtually Impossible to Obtain a K-1 Visa
The opposite of petitioners who believe it is really easy to get a Fiance visa is petitioners who think it is virtually impossible to get a Fiance visa. These people read horror stories on the internet and become defeated and depressed. It is only virtually impossible to get a K-1 visa if the petitioner does not follow the precise USCIS and Embassy procedures. It is very possible to obtain the Fiance visa by following the instructions, rules and procedures of the USCIS and Embassy. The one thing all petitioners need to understand, however, is that the K-1 visa takes some time to obtain. I advise all petitioners to not get discouraged during the processing times.

#4 The K-1 Visa Petitioner must be Wealthy to Satisfy the Affidavit of Support
The affidavit of support income requirements are very plainly provided by the USCIS on Form I-864P. The income requirements are updated every March and require a moderate income. It is very quick and easy to review the I-864P to determine whether a petitioner’s income is sufficient. It if the petitioner’s income is not sufficient he has the option of asking a family member to execute joint sponsorship.

#5 The Affidavit of Support Obligates the Petitioner to Support the Beneficiary
The affidavit of support is only an agreement between the petitioner and the federal government that the petitioner can be required to reimburse the federal government if the beneficiary receives welfare benefits. The beneficiary herself does not gain any rights against the petitioner sponsor from the affidavit of support. In fact, I have never heard of a single case in which the federal government has ever sought reimbursement from the sponsor for welfare benefits paid to the beneficiary. The affidavit of support is a serious-looking form that in practice doesn’t really obligate the sponsor.

#6 The Embassy Interview is Grueling and Long
In many countries including The Philippines and Ukraine the Embassy interview can be as short as one minute. In other countries like China and sometimes Canada, the interview can be longer but is still relatively short. Generally the interviewer is only looking for obvious problems with the applicant. So long as the applicant is sincere and honest the interview will be successful and the visa will be granted.

Frankly, the horror stories on the internet typically involve petitioners or applicants with criminal records, immigration violations or other non-typical problems. I urge people who have any of those problems to hire an attorney to handle the process from the very beginning.

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Divorce Coaching: 3 Things It Does For A Client

When you’re getting married, it takes months of planning and arranging. It takes a lot of money as well. A wedding planner may work best for setting you up on your way down the aisle.

Likewise, a divorce coach will help when the marriage crumbles, Lord forbid. Divorces can be costly in both time and money as well, and a divorce coach helps take care of things. But how? What does a divorce coach do to help?

Not only will a divorce take a toll on your finances and time in general, but it’ll also be tough emotionally. You’re potentially losing a house, your possessions, and figuring out (hopefully) how to share time with your kids or pets. A divorce coach in the room can help keep emotions relatively in check and offer a shoulder for clients on either side of the ‘war’ when one is needed. This is because a divorce coach is supposed to remain unbiased.

But what other things can they do to help? Depending on the coach’s background, whether they worked in law or counseling or even finances, they may be more helpful depending on your situation. But there are a few things certified divorce coaches are capable of.

First, a divorce coach can help with pre-legal advice in order to keep lawyer costs down. The less you need a lawyer, the better.

However it should be pointed out that divorce attorneys will be needed in the courtroom. What’s great though, is that many divorce attorneys actually praise divorce coaches for helping the clients with support and finding a way to keep the clients fair and balanced, and civil towards one another. Let’s face it, exes, whether man or woman, are not having an easy time through divorce.

A divorce coach charges quite a bit less for their time than a lawyer will. But it’s important to remember that the advice you receive is not to be considered as legal advice. That’s up to the divorce attorneys to doll out.

Secondly, and re-emphasizing a divorce coach’s support, they are there for you on either side.

A marriage often leads to new friendships. These friendships can become complicated during divorces. After all, friends you’ve made may feel a certain obligation to be loyal to your partner if they knew your partner first. On top of that, your closer friends as well as family may want you to stick through the marriage, no matter how bad it may actually be.

A divorce coach will let you vent but instead of leaving it at that, they will offer advice and guidance towards a way out of the situation.

As great as a divorce coach may seem, remember they still charge per hour.

Finally, a divorce coach will be able to recommend ways for you to keep your paperwork all up to date and organized. They may advise using software or services elsewhere. Otherwise, the divorce coach could also take care of this for you.

Any of this may add up to thousands of dollars spent, but a divorce coach’s advice can be much more valuable. And using divorce coaching as much as possible means you’re likely to spend three or four times LESS than if you needed an attorney all the way through your divorce.

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